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Shoe Tree of Chagrin Hardcover – August 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grades 1-4--In robust storyteller's prose, Lewis tells a tall tale of a mighty backwoods Ohio woman who cobbled shoes. As tall as her legends and just as faithful, Susannah DeClare travels from town to town taking orders for footwear, returning six months later with the finished products. This is her yearly ritual-until severe weather and age prevent her from meeting her usual schedule. But Susannah knows how important the orders are to the town of Chagrin Falls, and that it is necessary to show the doubting Reggie Kingsbury that hard work and integrity are more important than vanity and money. Although Susannah doesn't return, the promised footwear does. A child receives a mysterious note directing him to a certain road at the edge of town where he discovers the shoes hanging on a tree. An afterword claims that there really is a tree like that in Bainbridge, OH, decorated with old shoes, paying tribute to the spirit of Susannah DeClare. Lewis's language gives this story a strength and mystical quality that begs to be shared. The luminous illustrations, done in a fine line and misty palette, allow tans and browns to dominate each landscape. In spite of the subtitle, this tale has a universal message that can be read, told, and shared any time of the year.

Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-5, younger for reading aloud. Susannah DeClare travels the Ohio Valley taking orders for all types of shoes. Tall enough to repair a bell clapper in a church steeple on her tiptoes, the elderly cobbler makes shoes that last a lifetime. In Chagrin Falls, newcomer Reggie Kinsgsbury is skeptical that the townspeople will ever see the cobbler or their money again. When DeClare fails to appear at the expected time, the worries increase until people discover a tree, hung with dozens of shoes. Despite an afterward giving the location of the existing "Shoe Tree," this appears to be an original tall tale. Lewis embroiders the slender thread of a story with rich, lively language. In a palette dominated by greens and browns, the gauzy art creates a foglike atmosphere. The illustrations convey DeClare's stature and dignity but fail to express her vitality and spirit. Best suited for libraries in the Ohio Valley, this is also an interesting sample of locally inspired folklore. Linda Perkins
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Creative Editions; First Edition edition (August 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568461739
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568461731
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 7.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,753,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After nearly three decades as a professor of economics, J. Patrick Lewis turned to poetry. He is the author of more than 75 children's books including A Hippopotamusn't (1990), BoshBlobberBosh (1998), Please Bury Me in the Library (2004), First Dog (2009), Spot the Plot (2009), and The House (2009).

He has recently been named the third U.S. Children's Poet Laureate (2011-2013) by the Poetry Foundation.

His books have been published by Creative Editions, Knopf, Atheneum, Dial, Harcourt, Little, Brown, National Geographic, Chronicle Books, Scholastic, Candlewick, Schwartz & Wade, Holiday House, Sleeping Bear Press, Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press, Dawn Publications, and others. Gulls Hold Up the Sky, his first book of adult poems, was published by Laughing Fire Press (2010).

Pat's children's poems have also appeared in CRICKET (26 times), SPIDER, LADYBUG, CICADA, ODYSSEY, RANGER RICK, HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN, Ms. Magazine, YOUR BIG BACKYARD, CREATIVE CLASSROOM, STORYTIME, STORYWORKS, CHICKADEE, AHOY, LANGUAGE ARTS, JOURNAL OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE, BOOKBIRD, READING TODAY and over 100 anthologies. He wrote the 1992 National Children's Book Week poem, printed on one million bookmarks and distributed nationally.

Lewis has received numerous awards from the American Library Association, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and others. He was the recipient of the 2010-11 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Excellence in Children's Poetry Award, presented every two years.

WHERE I'LL BE NEXT--Schools, Bookstores, Conferences

October 14-16, 2011 Poetry Foundation--TED Lecture Chicago, Illiniois
October 23-25, 2011 NY State Reading Assn. Rye Brook, New York
October 28-31, 2011 Keystone State Reading Assn. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
November 5, 2011 Buckeye Book Fair Wooster, Ohio
November 8, 2011 Ashland University Ashland, Ohio
November 15-16, 2011 St. Joseph's College Rensselaer, Indiana
November 17-20, 2011 NCTE Convention Chicago, Illinois
December 1, 2010 Hillview Elementary Newark, Ohio
December 8, 2011 West Chester University (Dan Darigan) West Chester, PA
January 18, 2012 Richard Avenue Elementary Grove City, Ohio
January 24, 2012 Fouse Elementary Westerville, Ohio
March 1-3, 2012 Charlotte Huck Ch. Lit. Conference Redlands, California
April 3-5, 2012 Holland Hall Primary Tulsa, Oklahoma
April 12, 2012 Washington-Centerville Public Library Centerville, Ohio
April 13, 2012 Stingley Elementary Centerville, Ohio
April 17-25, 2012 Anglo-American School Moscow, Russia
April 29-May 2, 2012 IRA Convention Chicago, Illinois
May 10, 2012 Wynford Elementary Bucyrus, Ohio
March 22, 2013 OCTELA Conference Columbus, Ohio

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By M. Heiss on October 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The illustrations in this story invite a second look; the tall tales are perfect for read-alouds. The perspectives in the pictures keep shifting -- this is a well-done book.

The tall, narrow format is attention-getting, too.
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